The UK Association of Lighting Designers (www.ald.org.uk) presented the 6th Michael Northen Bursary Awards during PLASA 2005. The recipients were presented with their prizes by the competition’s judges Rick Fisher, ALD chairman, Mark White, ETC, manager UK & Ireland, and Will Evans, ALD student representative (the judges also included LD David Howe.

The Michael Northen Award was won by Matt Daw, studying at the Central School of Speech and Drama, who submitted a lighting design for Extremely Difficult Times, a circus piece performed at London’s Circus Space. The entry was judged to be outstanding not only for its final achievement but also in its preparation, research and planning. He received a check for £500 and a copy of "Northen Lights," Michael Northen’s autobiography).

Runners-up were Mary Pope, a RADA student, who received the ETC Award for her lighting of Movies in Motion at University College London; the ALD prize went to Andrew Ellis, also attending the Central School of Speech and Drama, for his lighting of Tin Drum at the school’s own theatre, The Embassy. They both received a check for £250, supplementary awards made possible by a generous donation from ETC and ALD itself.

On behalf of the judges, Rick Fisher commented, "the entrant’s work this year was of a very high standard and it is hope these awards will become the bench-mark for student and graduate lighting design in the future."

The competition is open to students in the field of lighting design, in full time higher education at the time of entry, who must submit a design for live performance completed in the previous year. The Association of Lighting Designers oversees the judging of the prize, the Mousetrap Foundation administers the fund, which is all made possible by the original charitable donation by Robert Cammac.

The Michael Northen Bursary award was established in 2000 after Michael received the MBE for his contribution to theatre and lighting design. He sadly died shortly before seeing the award come to fruition. Previous Michael Northen Bursary winners (including White Light Bursary Award): Johnathon McMullan; Ayse Sdif; Peter Skramstad; Suzy Hallam; Sven Ortel; Guy Kornetski; Nathan Curry and Phil Spec.

For further press information, please contact Will Evans at will.evans@ald.org.uk.